It was an easy decision - James Belshaw pens new deal at Harrogate Town despite interest from Football League clubs

James Belshaw has revealed that the decision to extend his stay at Harrogate Town was an easy one, despite murmurs of interest from Football League teams.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 7:22 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 7:24 pm
Harrogate Town goalkeeper James Belshaw. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The 29-year-old goalkeeper signed a three-and-a-half-year contract extension at Wetherby Road on Friday, meaning that he is now set to remain at the club until the summer of 2023.

Belshaw has been one of Town's most consistent performers since joining from Tamworth in 2017 and has kept 12 clean-sheets in 33 appearances so far this season, helping Simon Weaver's side up to second in the National League standings.

The quality of his performances between the sticks have prompted boss Weaver to tie him down for the long term, but have unsurpisingly also caught the eye of clubs higher up the footballing pyramid.

"I spoke to the gaffer a few months ago about an extension, then when we sat down this week to sort it out it was very straightforward," Belshaw revealed.

"I was in and out in probably 15 minutes. I wanted to stay and he wanted me to stay. I have a really good relationship with the gaffer and it was an easy decision for me, I'm very happy at Harrogate.

"As far as I'm concerned, I've got unfinished business here. I want to get into the Football League and I want to do it with Harrogate Town.

"I'm delighted to get it done. It's nice to know that my future is secured until 2023."

And although Belshaw was aware of potential interest from elsewhere, he says that signing his new contract "puts all that to bed."

He added: "When you're playing well you do get approached and I have had agents contacting me.

"I don't use an agent, I prefer to do all that kind of thing myself, so there's been people ringing me up saying 'so and so is interested'

"I have been told that clubs are looking at me, but there's been to approach to Harrogate and me signing until 2023 puts all that to bed.

"Like I say, I love it here. This a great time to be a Harrogate Town player."

Belshaw joins Lloyd Kerry in agreeing a new contract this week, the long-serving midfielder putting pen to paper on an agreement which will keep him at the CNG Stadium until 2022.

“It means a great deal for us as a management staff to have them with us for the long term, they sum up what we are about," Weaver said.

"They have been through difficult times and know what it takes to get out of them.

“We’re happy in the knowledge with our core of players that they are consistent performers and it means a lot for them to wear the badge.”

Meanwhile, Town midfielder Scott Brown has extended his loan spell at Bet Victor Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Warrington until the end of the current season.

The 34-year-old was playing regularly in League One for Accrington Stanley last term, but has found game-time hard to come by since his arrival in North Yorkshire.